Montreal police say they’ve dealt a major blow to a large-scale drug and gun smuggling ring.
After an investigation lasting several months, the anti-gang squad says it made 10 arrests Wednesday morning in five different cities.
“We think that it might be more major than what we thought at first. They were a very, very secret organized group from everywhere, not known to any police agencies,” said Cmdr. Francis Renaud of the Montreal police.
Police claim a criminal organization based in the northeast part of the island was going to Toronto each week with bags of cash, buying bulk amounts of drugs and guns, then selling them on the streets of Montreal and the surrounding areas.
In a coordinated effort, officers from multiple police forces made 10 arrests Wednesday morning in Montreal, Laval, Mirabel, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, and in Richmond Hill in the Greater Toronto Area.
The work tackling the ring ramped up in June, when officers made a major seizure of $2.1 million worth of cocaine, $1.1 million worth of crystal meth, 170,000 opioid pills and an AR-15 assault rifle.
Since then, officers say they’ve been investigating this group in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police, RCMP, Toronto Police, York Regional Police and others.
“The trust is very, very strong,” Renaud said. “Even with the Ontario police officers, OPP, Toronto Police, RCMP, York Police Regional, it’s a perfect, perfect collaboration between our organizations.”
Renaud said it’s the first time an organized crime group has been formally accused of gun smuggling in Montreal.
A number of suspects appeared at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday afternoon by video conference, facing gun and drug charges.
Some were released with conditions, while others remain detained pending court appearances in the coming days.
Police have not managed to capture the alleged leader of the gang, 35-year-old Emmanuel Puthyra Roy.
“We know that he’s out of the country,” said Renaud. “Now you know that we’re after him, and help from the public would be much appreciated.”
Renaud said he believes that after this bust, the streets of Montreal are safer.